Today’s millennials who are young and prosperous are forced to spend half their working lives saving barely enough―if anything at all, for a reasonable down payment on their first home at a time when they are starting a family―an injustice of the first order.

There are two sources of the crisis, namely speculation and the way in which home purchases are financed.

Our present legislation fails to take into account that incomes vary throughout the life of the mortgage leaving occupants vulnerable to foreclosures and eviction.  There is only one way to deal with the problem:  payments must vary with income whether the banks or landlords like it or not―to wit, a floating mortgage or rent where payments are pegged to a fixed percentage of a buyer’s income over the life of the mortgage or lease.

Joe Ceci Alberta MLA Calgary Buffalo
The Hon Joe Ceci MLA Calgary Buffalo on left. Former Alberta Finance Minister

Here’s how it could work: 

The cost of a dwelling whether rented or purchased must always be pegged by law to a fixed percentage of a dweller’s current income   irrespective of any positive or negative change in his income.  In a word, a floating payment plan for a person’s residence.  If a person’s income rises his payment would automatically rise with it or decrease should his income decline.

So how could we achieve this?  We would begin with legislation that prohibits the use of a down payment of any kind whatsoever and apply the entire cost to a floating mortgage where the amount applied to the outstanding principle would be set at a fixed percentage of the buyer’s income.  Interest charges would not be allowed to exceed applications to the principle which would float with the buyer’s income.  Hence, any increase in the buyer’s income would shorten the life of the mortgage while income reduction or interruption would lengthen the life of the mortgage.

Such an arrangement will easily put the dream of home ownership within the reach of even the poorest of the poor and eliminate the threat of homelessness flowing from the unforeseen such as job loss or illness.

Any politician who works the foregoing into his platform will undoubtedly be ushered into public office in a political landslide.

All that is required on the part of governments is political will.

I often call this the HELSINKI FORMULA on the housing crisis where homelessness is literally unknown due to it’s  HOUSING FIRST  policy on coping with poverty.



John Bliss

Taxi deregulation has finally come to Quebec with François Bonnardel’s bill 17, An Act Respecting Remunerated Passenger Transportation by Automobile is now law and will take effect on October 20 this year.

The new legislation takes control of regulation away from municipalities and into the hands of the province in an effort to allow industry stakeholders greater flexibility in coping with changing market conditions and new technologies.

While not perfect, it is by every means the best legislation to put in its appearance since the onset of the “Uber crisis” in 2015.

Here is what the legislation does:

1: Municipalities will no longer regulate the industry, instead, it will fall under the jurisprudence of Quebec’s Commission des transports du Québec (Quebec Transportation Commission) who will then oversee all matters relating to the taxi/limousine industry clean across the province.

2: It abolished the use of such terms as brokers and TNCs (Transportation Network Companies such as Uber) and replaces them with the term “transportation system”—a term that embraces all automobile modes of transportation including ridesharing. Transportation systems may have any combination of vehicle types. In other words, a transportation system can have both taxis and ride sharing cars in their fleet and work in tandem with the same dispatcher.

3: Ride sharing vehicles are restricted to receiving trip offers through app dispatching. They are prohibited from prearranged trips and telephone dispatching, which remain the exclusive preserve of traditional top light equipped taxis.


4: A driver may, for the sake of customer convenience, pick up a fare outside the city for which he is licensed if he should clear a trip within another city’s jurisdiction. That could conceivably include dispatched trips since Bill 17 makes no such restriction.


5: The new bill legalized price competition due to Uber’s persistent undercutting the regulated fares taxis had to comply with.


6: The medallion system—a system that limits the number of transferrable taxi permits, is now abolished. And therein lay the primary source of cabby opposition to the bill. After all, who likes seeing a relieving anyone of a $220,000 investment?


The government has provided $816 million compensation program for its 7600 medallion holders. It will be financed with a 90 cent per trip tax.


That’s average of $107,368.42 per permit holder. François Bonnardel, Quebec’s transport minister says that is the government’s final offer. In my opinion that is not an unreasonable offer.


Let us be clear about one thing though. An open entry system of cab licensing system as experienced in other jurisdictions will lead to extreme market fragmentation without a prohibition against fixed stand rents and leasing fees drivers pay to their fleet owners and dispatchers. Uber’s commission system is a much better system provided drivers are protected through collective agreements and employment standards legislation.


In fact, Uber’s commission system of stand rents is the primary reason many traditional taxi drivers migrate from taxis to Uber.

Industry stakeholders must overcome the taxi shibboleths of yesteryear and get into the 21st century if they wish to survive.


Drivers and their customers both substantially benefit from the new legislation. Here’s hoping other jurisdictions have sufficient wisdom to follow suit.

Click here to see the entire legislation

Oliver Moore asks: “Do Canada’s Taxi Drivers have a place in transportation’s changing future?” : Globe And Mail October 4, 2018

Oliver Moore asks whether or not Canada’s taxi drivers have a place in transportations future?

I say they certainly do once the taxi brokers get out of their box and collaboratively link themselves and their drivers together through an App based Central Dispatch Network (CDN) which links all the drivers and their brokers into a single CDN such as ProCabby as described here in one of their ads shown below.

ProCabby is an Ottawa based CDN that’s presently recruiting drivers and their brokers throughout North America these past two years.  Governments are becoming increasingly interested in such a service, particularly where persons with disabilities are concerned.

Riders sole concern is typically timely service, professionalism and vehicle condition.  Uber’s popularity flows primarily from their ability to recruit driver owners without a transferrable medallion and through their sheer numbers can respond much faster than taxis encumbered with the fixed licensing.

Their ability to recruit driver owners, including cab drivers is the direct result of charging their drivers a fixed percentage commission per trip rather than fixed–and often usuriously high stand rents charged by the brokers.  ProCabby charges 7.1% of fares dispatched by—and only by ProCabby.  All other trips such as flags and trips prearranged without ProCabby’s involvement are not charged a commission.

A CDN such as ProCabby can save a taxi company a ton of money in dispatching costs as the CDN could connect each and every customer with a cab without anyone in the office at all.  Remote call centers can handle all phone business and customer concerns.

Let the cab companies and fleet operators focus on their cars and driver training and let the ProCabby do the dispatching.





The reality of taxi service is this: People want a cab to arrive in a timely fashion with a well-motivated and highly professional driver who will take them from point A to B in a timely fashion at a reasonable and affordable cost without incident.

Timely arrival of taxis has been a problem in many cities particularly where persons with  disabilities are concerned.

The solution of course is of course centralizing the dispatch system worldwide.  Can this be done?  And just what is centralized dispatch anyway?

In a word, it works like this:  You order a taxi and the company you called can send you a cab within 15 to 20 minutes.  Fair enough, but why wait so long when another cab from another company just cleared right next door? With a centralized dispatch system in place, the cab next door is the cab that would pick you up.  Quite simple eh? 

Look at it this way:  There are roughly 70 million taxis operating in the world today.  With today’s technology, only one dispatcher is necessary for the entire lot irrespective of the prevailing language spoken where the driver operates.

The international dispatcher would have to be a robot as no human is equal to such a task.

Even the international robot would need other robots located around the world in a variety of jurisdictions—each with their own unique exigencies and laws.  And those robots are already in action—and we even have a name for them: Taxi Brokers or Cab companies near you.

The robotic international taxi broker would link up with all the local taxi brokers world wide and link all these brokers together as if they were a single company.

That means when you call a cab the international dispatcher will send you a taxi with a well-trained professional driver behind the wheel that is physically closest to you irrespective of the company that you called.

Persons with smart phones can now use just one app to connect with a local taxi anywhere in the world when you travel.  The wheelchair bound person will undoubtedly have wait times sharply reduced to acceptable levels and greatly improve their overall quality of life.

That is precisely the kind of service ProCabby is offering to the worldwide public.

ProCabby Ltd. Is an Ottawa based companies that is currently recruiting cab drivers and brokers right now. 

The company was founded only two years ago and has successfully recruited enough drivers in 37 cities here in the United States and Canada.  They are also lobbying local politicians to secure contracts and legislative changes where necessary.

Taxi drivers and brokers sign up now no matter where you live—even if ProCabby is not yet there or have the likes of Uber—a company that dispatches all of its trips with one robot to be found in San Francisco, swallow you up for good.

You can register with them by going to https://procabby.com/ .  If you’re a taxi/Uber customer you can do so too.  And don’t worry if ProCabby is not available where you live.  It’s only a matter of time and your membership will function as a petition when ProCabby approaches taxi companies and government officials.



Centralized Taxi Dispatching–a godsend for taxi drivers & passengers

The consensus of Calgary’s politicians as witnessed at their Standing Policy Committee (SPC) on Community and Protective Services meeting of last October 3, 2018  appears to be that a taxi centralized dispatching system—a godsend for an industry beleaguered by the invasion of Uber, is on its way to Calgary.

Centralizing taxi dispatch will undoubtedly eliminate horrid response times wheelchair bound travellers experience, and substantially improve the quality of service to the overall general public.

ProCabby Ltd is an Ottawa based company who hopes to fill the bill right here in Calgary and across North America and overseas.

Their model works like this: A customer calls a cab in the usual fashion or with ProCabby’s App itself on their smartphone and the cab that is physically closest to that customer will get the trip regardless the company that cab is affiliated with.

Travellers can use it in any city where ProCabby is available. Right now, they are launching in over 30 North American cities.

The reality is that few customers really care which taxi company transports them. All they really want is a highly professional driver with a clean car showing up in a timely fashion to carry them from A to B at reasonable cost without incident.

Committed and well-trained full-time career drivers are the only people that can provide such service—if local governments will let them.

The taxi industry is one of the most regulated industries in the economy—and it shows with the adnauseous red tape every time a company tries to respond to changing market conditions such as sizing their fleets to match demand. It all too often takes years before the bureaucrats and politicians are willing to resolve such issues while the public suffers.

The result was Uber barging into the market like a bull in a china shop without any regard for local legislation—and bamboozle the public into believing that Uber is their salvation with cheaper fares (Taxi fares are regulated, and Uber deliberately undercuts them), fueled by their lie that taxis are never clean, and the drivers are obnoxious.

The truth is that ProCabby’s presence in any city will substantially improve the quality of service to the public and boost the incomes of drivers and the companies who employ them.
ProCabby offers the public well-trained and professional drivers who will be on time for your trip. I can only wish them the best of luck in all of their endeavours.

Both customers and drivers are urged to register now even if the service is currently unavailable where you live as your registration will function as a petition whenever ProCabby has to deal with local governments and taxi companies.  Click here for more information on their website or e-mail support@procabby.com .  You may phone or text them at 1-833-PROCABY (1-833-776-2229)

For the record, I was the first speaker at Calgary’s SPC meeting of October 3rd so click here to hear my presentation and the committee’s reaction.


I spent an hour riding that vehicle and it was great. A great idea overall but with a few drawbacks.

Relax cab driver. You won’t lose your job over driverless taxis. Such vehicles will only make your job easier—and here’s why.

I had just spent an hour riding at the leisurely speed of a horse drawn carriage back and forth between the zoo and the Telus Spark Science Center aboard an ELA 12 passenger bus without any incident whatsoever.

Last week Brennan Doherty of StarMetro Calgary reports that during his ride, the bus stopped aggressively to yield right of way to a squirrel or Magpie—yes these cars can detect an animal or obstacle that small.

The ELA crew and I developed a consensus on various aspects of the driverless car—one of which was that professional drivers need not fear for their jobs—only their job description is likely to change with the type of vehicle he’s operating. Vehicles driving the public around must have a trained attendant on board to keep order and respond intelligently to emergencies and software malfunctions. One never knows when the operator must switch to manual control as airline pilots do.

Current technology in driverless vehicles appear to be inadequate for sharing the road with manual vehicles on high traffic volume and freeway speeds. It appears for the moment at least; such vehicles will have to stay off certain roadways or run during certain hours. Dedicated road and laneways may relieve some of the problems. Technological improvements will undoubtedly change all that. However, the driver still has to be able to take manual control of such vehicles at any time on instantaneous notice.

The ELA I was in runs entirely on four 48-volt batteries that require five hours to recharge. And therein lies another problem with electrically powered cars in general and driverless cars in particular. If the owner can recharge his or her battery at home every night, no problem. But no one can rely on having their car at home in a timely enough fashion for recharging. Gas stations must get involved too.

For starters, batteries have to be designed for very rapid recharge in the space of five minutes or less. And all batteries must have a cross manufacturer design and shape for a rapid battery exchange. The battery has to be capable of rapid removal and installation of a replacement battery on site. The attendant would simply remove the battery for recharge and install a fully charged battery in the space of five minutes.

Highway infrastructure and legislation is required to phase in such vehicles and phase out gasoline and manual cars—an undertaking that will take at least a generation to complete.

One thing is certain in the foregoing debate, is that it will be a very long time before the driver whether privately or commercially owned will disappear from the automobile. There must be a qualified person onboard at all times.

Taxi and bus drivers can relax, there must be someone on board to maintain order and ensure the vehicle is following the correct route.

—John Bliss  the e-book  I NEED A TAXIS PERMISSION TO GO OUT an essay on wheelchair accessible taxis is now available.  To purchase or read click here.

My book “I Need a Taxis Permission To Go Out” is now available.

I have just released my e-book titled I NEED A TAXI’S PERMISSION TO GO OUT–an essay on the livery industry’s treatment of persons with disabilities is now available.

The book is in response to The City of Calgary’s Standing Policy Committee on Community and Protective Services’ meeting of last March 7, 2018, where the issue of on-demand transportation needs of persons with disabilities was discussed at length.

No fewer than 25 persons including myself– each with five minutes to address the committee.  A few had a little more time because of speech impairments.  The result was a meeting that took up an entire day–and accomplished little to the frustration of stakeholders and the councilors themselves.

You can if you like, you can watch that debate by clicking here.  I’m the 10th speaker there.  I also spoke briefly on the aboriginal reconciliation issue.

For details on pricing and delivery dates click Here.

Here’s hoping that visitors to this site can find it in their hearts to purchase the book as it will help pay for the cost of this site and related research.

My next book titled “Taxis the Uber Transportation Survivor” should be ready for release around Christmas.            —-John Bliss




2022 DECEMBER 28

We want to hear your opinions about taxi stands in downtown Calgary.

On December 6, 2022, Vehicle for Hire hosted two Engagement Sessions with Taxi Drivers regarding Taxi Stands.  We now would like to hear your feedback and ideas on taxi stand locations through a survey.

This survey will be open to until midnight on January 8, 2023.

Access to the survey can be found by clicking this link: https://calgaryca.questionpro.ca/TaxiStandEngagement

If you have further questions about these sessions, please contact ltsengagement@calgary.ca

Thank you for your participation and feedback on taxi stands and their use.


Abdul Rafih

Deputy Chief VFH Public Safety



How Cab Drivers Can Fight the Covide 19 Virus


John Bliss

Cab Drivers Fight Covide 19: Here’s how

I have had many years of experience cab driving and as a result, am no stranger to contagions in my taxi. I can’t even begin count the number of people I have picked up who were ill with what is usually a common cold or flu.
Before flu vaccines, I was nearly always sick with the same illness within two or three days. It meant lost time from work.
To reduce the likelihood of becoming ill, I developed a number of tricks over the years that proved their worth and saved me one hell of a lot of down time due to illness.
Here are some of the tricks:
Once flu shots became available, I took them every year. It built resistance over time and reduced the severity of the common cold. So, get those flu shots.
1. Carry and use regularly hand lotion sanitizers throughout your shift. I always carried the pocket type in my pockets and used it frequently throughout the shift and take it with you when using a public washroom.
Given the current shortage of such products, you may have to improvise with Lysol or flushable wet wipes. You can even use your windshield washer fluid! Methyl hydrate (alcohol) or KleenFlo could be purchased from many gas stations or hardware stores too. Always spray such liquids from a spray bottle for cleaning yourself or the car.
A good soldier will always improvise when he has to—so improvise!

2. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. No soap? Use liquid dish soap or liquid laundry soap will do.

3. The inside of the car will need a very quick interior cleaning right after clearing each and every trip. It is necessary even though time is precious:
• Spray the back seat and any other part of the car that customers may have touched such as door handles window openers and seat belts. Pay particular attention to the seat occupied by the passenger and the head rest in front of him.
• Roll all the windows down long enough once the car is moving to purge the interior air from any toxins or other unpleasant smells. In extreme cold, about five to ten minutes should be enough.
• Visit a carwash twice a day for an interior wash: once halfway through the shift and once at the end of the shift. Be sure the cross shift does the same. Expensive, unfortunately, with carwash fees and extra down time, but remember this is a national emergency like the outbreak of war.

Best of Luck My Friends this won’t last forever.

John Bliss